Baby Boom 2012

19 June 2010: in one day we spot newborns of four species. Spinner, pantropical spotted, Indopacific and common bottlenose dolphins. An account was published here.

23 June 2012. History repeats itself. First sighting of Pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) south of Sirnaka Island. It is a pretty large group, we decide to launch the zodiac with our photographers to get some good photo-identification material. The first two newborns are recorded!

Pantropical spotted dolphin newborn. Copyright HEPCA

Back to the boat, we resume the navigation. One of the observers spots a school of spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) and the same scene starts again: getting closer with the speedboat and..a newborn!

Spinner dolphin newborn. Copyright HEPCA

It is a baby boom day, again!

A day later, we run into a pod of pantropical spotted dolphins and, just as a further confirmation, here we go: another newborn.

And to dispel any doubts, the final proof: the next newborn comes the day after, from a third species. Forced to interrupt our survey and go back to Hamata for an electric problem in the engine room, we conclude the navigation in St.John area and head north with Zabargad Island, our dream, on our starboard side. We call for a sighting. Wow, big dolphins. About 900m from us when first seen, but approaching fast. One actually glimpse on the side of the boat and leave. Bottlenose? Risso’s? We are already excited..but we almost get an heart attack when they pop up close to the boat and take a breath. We see them. Massive and really dark. Now we understand why they are called “black fish”. False killer whales! And the first pair we get to photograph is mother (a thingy 5m long) and a minuscule individual on the side: a false killer whale newborn.

False killer whale newborn. Copyright HEPCA

Again, this is definitely another baby boom!

We hope you enjoyed the pictures! Stay tuned!

HEPCA Team

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